B.C. SPCA $1.4M richer just after court docket upholds will of deceased Vancouver female

The B.C. SPCA will receive the lion’s share of an nearly $2 million estate settlement right after a B.C. Supreme Courtroom justice located that a handwritten take note of murky provenance was not more than enough to override the legitimate will of a Vancouver girl who died almost 4 decades ago.

Eleena Violette Murray was 99 when she died Oct. 4, 2017.

Her will, written in 2013, bequeathed a whole of $440,000 to 9 family members users. A niece, two grandnieces and one grandnephew had been every single given $60,000. Another 5 relatives had been left $40,000 apiece. 

The only other occasion named in the document, the B.C. SPCA, was still left the residue of her estate — the revenue remaining after property were liquidated and expenditures and distributions paid out.

In Murray’s situation, the residue of estate amounted to approximately $1.4 million for the B.C. SPCA following the sale of her Collingwood Avenue residence in Kitsilano for $1.9 million.

Previous yr, a team of Murray’s relatives filed suit alleging a handwritten note with “SPCA” and “100,000” published beside it was proof she meant for the animal welfare agency to obtain the considerably smaller total of $100,000.

The note also purported to boost how substantially selected family members members would acquire though deleting the inheritances of some others.

Composed on a piece of yellow notepad paper, the notice was identified in a lockbox in Murray’s household along with her will.

The entire handwritten note household associates introduced ahead as proof that Murray intended to modify her will. (B.C. Supreme Court docket)

In her 62-website page choice, Justice Heather MacNaughton listed the quite a few difficulties with the observe, which include that it was without having a day and title and was unsigned and unwitnessed.

Marks produced by unique people today in different ink

Whilst there was no evidence disputing that the notice was mostly in Murray’s handwriting, MacNaughton also discovered that it “appears to have markings on it designed by diverse folks as they are in various ink.”

“It is not crystal clear who crossed out some of the names on the be aware,” she wrote. “It is also not very clear who elevated the volume of the gifts from the quantities in the 2013 will.”

The determination also details out that if the note was, in simple fact, legitimate, 75 for every cent of the estate would stop up with a few nephews Murray experienced produced abundantly clear she had no intention of leaving something to.  

“It can be tricky to see how Ms. Murray could have had awareness and accepted of this consequence,” MacNaughton wrote.

In her determination, MacNaughton observed that Murray was conscious of and authorised the residual bequest to the B.C. SPCA and that her will could not be rendered invalid by the handwritten be aware. 

“The take note does not reflect Ms. Murray’s set and remaining intention to modify the 2013 will and is not completely effective as a codicil or alteration,” she stated. 

In an intriguing twist, counsel for the B.C. SPCA informed the courtroom that the $40,000 reward set out in the take note for Murray’s pal John Basich would be honoured.

In accordance to court documents, Basich acted as Murray’s driver in her later a long time but did not seem in her 2013 will.